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Unemployment in Dún Laoghaire/Rathdown rises by over 20% in a year

7 November, 2008

South Dublin Sinn Féin Representative Shaun Tracey has called on the Government to introduce a package to help struggling families with mortgage repayments in light of rising levels of unemployment. Mr. Tracey said figures released today show that unemployment has risen by over 20% in Dún Laoghaire/Rathdown and home repossessions are likely to follow if the Government does not intervene.

He went on to call on the Government to introduce legislation to regulate estate management companies as many residents are struggling to pay fees and are being threatened with legal proceedings.

Mr. Tracey said, "Figures released today by the Central Statistics Office show that unemployment in Dún Laoghaire/Rathdown has increased by more than 20% in the past twelve months. Home repossessions are likely to follow unless the Government intervenes and introduces a package to help struggling families with mortgage repayments.

"Despite repeated warnings by Sinn Féin and others the Government failed to intervene when banks were encouraging home seekers to take out 100% mortgages. They must now step in and help those who risk losing everything as more and more jobs are lost and families are struggling with negative equity. In the immediate time ahead the Government must use its new found influence over the banking sector to ensure that banks and local authorities pass on the benefits of the cut in the European Central Bank interest rate to mortgage holders.

"Another factor putting unwarranted pressure on mortgage holders is exorbitant management company fees. Thousands of apartment complexes have sprung up in Dún Laoghaire/Rathdown over the past number of years with management companies playing the role of local authority for vast sums of money, a scheme which home buyers must sign up to if they want to purchase a home in these complexes.

"As more and more families struggle with mortgage repayments management company fees have continued to rise. Many people are being threatened with legal proceedings if the fees are not paid. The Government must introduce legislation to regulate these companies and to ensure that local authorities take on the role of maintenance in these complexes within a specified and reasonable timeframe." ENDS

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